International webinar on Digital divide

 

~ Poovizhi.P

I’ve got an opportunity to speak in an international webinar organized by Dr. Monica Sharma on the topic digital divide. Below is the link to a 6 min video of the speech. It was a great experience to be part an international webinar. I learnt that where ever I may be and whatever work I do, I am connected with each one of us in the world in breaking the unhealthy isms from being in my inner capacity.

Here is what I shared.

In my experience one digital divide is employment. People who have completed Engineering in and around my village have hard time finding engineering jobs. Some of my engineering classmates, specifically girls have got married, others work in non-engineering jobs like receptionist, data entry and teaching.

This is partly because of lack of practical skills. Even in college where I was doing a degree in computer science we had limited access to few shared computers. It was enough to read text books and pass exams. Most of us didn’t have access to laptops and internet at home to explore further. After 4 years I had a degree but not much programming skills.

At STEM land I learned programming first with a visual programming language from children and then professional programming languages. When I was learning programming from children, no one made fun of me. In time I realized that a supportive environment for learning had been built at STEM land not only by the facilitators, but also the children who also practice the RTL tools. I see such a culture of supporting risk takers shifting mediocracy to excellence.

STEM lands are located in rural schools. Even with poor internet children are able to share the projects and programs they make with other children through a local area network. Through this I see the shift from being stuck without resources to having the courage to create alternatives.

There is digital divide in rural area due to the socio- economic background and very few people have access to computers, laptops and tabs. Many people have access to smart phones but internet is an issue. They have limited internet because the tower is not close or may not be able to afford internet. In the pandemic this got worse because people are earning less. To reach children in this time we send practice assignments and give feedback through Whatsapp. For those who don’t have access to internet I create physical worksheets that parents pick up or met children individually at home.

I can see that genderism is strengthened by society in technology. After certain age girls have a lot of constraints in my society. For example, boys have the freedom to come to STEM land in the evenings after school whereas girls do not. One issue is safety due to alcoholism, gangs and harassments in the evening, but much of it is social pressure. In response sleepovers where both boys and girls stay over at the school once a week has become a norm at least in one of our schools.

I wanted children from other villages and schools to also benefit from STEM land in the evenings. I faced the same constraints and fear of traveling, but I don’t want to leave it just because I am born as girl. I go to such a center and support children and take precautions that I can.

In my village alcoholism is a major issue and many children and women suffer as the men beat their wife and children and they don’t have a quiet space at home to study. The youth planned a play to bring awareness about alcoholism but none of girls participated because it is not considered socially ok. I had a fear of judgment but I noticed it and being in my values I took part. This action inspired four other girls and a married women. This has started many new conversations about alcoholism.

As a team in STEM land we look to break these isms in technology. When I joined STEM land three years ago there was only one female engineer. The women to men ratio was 1:6 and now in the technical team its getting closer to an equal ratio.

To break the digital divide

1. I need to develop an environment for youth and children to develop skills

2. I need to be more than an engineer to break genderism, groupism, alcoholism, ageism

3. I need to work from responsibility, equality and courage to create.

Math Learning from Sundaram Sir

~Saranya

We have learnt the following topics and few techniques, puzzle(ken-ken) also learnt new information like Kaprekar constant, Collatz conjecture in excel. September 11(world trade centre hijacked)  etc…

S.No Topic Link
1 Place value (i) part 1: https://youtu.be/wXG1F5nyLyY

(ii) part 2:  https://youtu.be/ySa-8k5UnZc

(ii) part 3: https://youtu.be/t_tN0s4gnhI

2 Place Value real life examples https://youtu.be/HEgijGQABEw

 

3 Addition stories https://youtu.be/B0i-AFqh3l4

 

4 Word problem(Add-2 types, Sub-4 types) https://youtu.be/jV5-Pa2C73E
5 Word problem(Add-2 types, Sub-4 types, and division -2types) https://youtu.be/gOszHLHMgKI
6  Equal sharing along with multiplication https://youtu.be/kERMsSkW6pE
7 Ratio https://youtu.be/h5SV_uPpCrA
8 Difference between history and concepts

 

Geometry

 

Ken-ken(sudoku)

(i) part 1: https://youtu.be/qJS0R_xBDvU

(ii) part 2: https://youtu.be/f4HbQM3qma8

(ii) part 3:  https://youtu.be/tCuZMkZ9yds

9 Geometry(triangles(scalene), parallelogram, rhombus) https://youtu.be/k7dOko_vZEk
10 Word problem https://youtu.be/QMBqxF1BHaE
11 The surface area along with examples

Fraction

https://youtu.be/-F-8pN4MAyM
12 Fraction Addition and subtraction

Comparison of fraction

Stories for fraction

https://youtu.be/nTrfFKgWkYU
13 Fraction rule

Fraction stories

 

https://youtu.be/7_BKXGwHijg
14 Angles, angular distance, linear distance

Types of angles

 

https://youtu.be/mWylO7CvI-E
15 Sets square – draw angles using sets square https://youtu.be/aCVnOvK6YJI
16 Types of Angles chart/family tree https://youtu.be/0SxEwisQnL4

 

 

C3STREAM Land Designs delivers First IC chip

C3STREAM Land Designs delivers First IC chip:

~Ranjith, Saranya

Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) is the process of creating an integrated circuit (IC) by combining thousands of transistors into a single chip.

One year back, we started learning the VLSI layout and design process with the support of “Aura Semiconductor Pvt Ltd” (Aura is a fabless semiconductor company innovating high-performance IC products for IoT Radios, Timing, and Portable Audio markets).

Over the year we have been involved with automation using SKILL (Lisp-based Cadence programming language) and layout workflow (python, shell scripting, etc), learning layout methodology, and aspects to keep in mind in layout. An example of SKILL code was the automation of a differential pair which is a very common circuit block in analog circuit design.  This process in the last year has got us now only comfortable with the layout, but also the entire cadence flow and supported the group at Aura automate small aspects of their work.

 

We were trained in the layout by our mentor by assigning us small blocks that were used in real designs starting from digital and then analog. After completion of a layout, we got feedback from our mentor on matching, MOS transistors effects like LOD, constraints in floor planning and routing, accounting, or parasitic such as IR drops and capacitance. The time we took for each block also reduced as we worked on more blocks and we could see our progress in not only laying a block but also reduced time in making sure that it satisfied DRC (Design Rule Checker) and LVS (Layout vs schematic). This process of working on real blocks helped us improve our skill, speed, and confidence and gave us exposure to different kinds of blocks.

A couple of months back we were included in a team on an active project with Aura. We were able to complete around 40% of the layout from Auroville. It has opened opportunities for this high-tech work to be done out of Auroville. Currently, and Siva and Vasanthraj Gandhi (who are now part of the team) are being trained by us along with Aura in a similar fashion. Looking forward to layout and in time design many more IC designs.

Example of a top-level chip:

INCORPORATING ARTS WITH STEM; THE AI(ART INTEGRATED) STREAM LEARNING

~Sunil & Abilash

Integrating Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Art, and Math to create holistic learning is called STREAM education. The Art Integrated (AI) education includes both visual arts (paintings, clay modelling, gaming) and performing arts (music, dance, drama).  It’s very important to incorporate kids in all of these five disciplines. If we seed these skills in our kids, it improves their practical thinking. Integrating art and science in education could increase their creative thinking and cognitive ability. It also encourages students to express science in unimaginable ways. AI-based education paves the path for experiential learning. Some of the activities to incorporate art with science are 

1. PENDULUM PAINTING

Pendulum painting is a fun activity to do with students using simple materials like water bottles, paper, paint, rope and chairs. This activity enhances creative and critical thinking among students. It will make them understand parameters like gravity, motion, momentum, and velocity. Students would be able to create a beautiful art along with conducting a pendulum experiment to know the physics behind the pendulum by practical approach.

2. PERIODIC TABLE SONG 

Teaching Periodic Table songs to kids is one of the best ways to make chemistry enjoyable. Songs have always been the best ways to remember even the most convoluted set of words at ease. The periodic table song with a supporting video that has a picture of the applications of some aspects along with music, would enable students to remember the elements of the periodic table along with applications. These kinds of activity aid both the right and left brain to store accurate information and retain it.

3. ART FROM WASTE IN SCIENCE

Plastic Pollution has become a significant concern in today’s world. This activity of making simple electronic devices like a LED torch using plastic wastes would make students learn simple electronics along with hands-on training. Making art out of garbage would enhance creativity and positive thinking in students and also would create awareness about plastic pollution.

There are no limits in education and imagination; we can use our creativity to incorporate any form of art with any science concept to bring out the best in education. Other activities like dancing or acting in a theatrical play relating science or math concepts, could cultivate expression, self-confidence, presentation skill along with understanding STEM.

Experiential Learning (Joyful Learning of Mathematics)

Experiential Learning (Joyful Learning of Mathematics):

  • Experiential learning activities will be students-centered/ focused, the learning outcomes of experiential learning are flexible and open.
  • In experiential learning, the aim is to develop knowledge and skills.
  • Before asking children to solve a particular question ask them the right questions which make them think. The questions should be relevant and it should make sense to them.
  • Visualizing problems will help children in understanding faster way. For example.

“Good teaching is more a giving of the right questions than a giving of right answers”

How to make math class more interesting:

  • Make it meaningful(asking right questions)
  • Start with interesting real-life problems.
  • Use concrete relatable examples(relevant examples that help them to image the real-life incident).
  • Encourage creativity and ownership.

 

 

Sapiens: The Pivotal Role of Language in Human Evolution

~Shimalini & Radhika

In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari talks about how evolution took place, the hurdles and unprecedented changes humankind faced along the way. But, what provoked them to revolutionise things? What made them question their very own existence? How could the agricultural revolution be the biggest mistake made by human beings? What made them think that they have committed an error? The exchange of ideas incepted from the latter part of the cognitive revolution, through language as a medium. 

Every Species has its language, but they use them only to share information and alert their fellow species. Each tribal group invented their unique language from different parts of the world. Humans used language not only to increase their trust or dependency; they used it to cultivate thoughts and ideas. It was unbelievable and humorous when Harari mentioned that language arose from the act of gossiping in a group. Gossips enabled humans to analyse themselves and others based on their personality traits. Gossips gave birth to individualism. Languages allow humans to speak, share and describe things like which grain to cultivate? How to construct and design a wheel? How to hunt and capture an animal? Archaic humans carved on stones to transfer information to their offsprings and It gave birth to art. We strongly believe that this is the start of the data revolution. 

One aspect is quite eminent with the evolution of human beings. Without language, humans couldn’t have expressed their opinions and would have broken down the chain of verbal conveyance. We believe that language made humans a dominant species. 

Crawling Spider

~Sunil, Sharat & Praveen

Spiders are arachnids belongs to a class of arthropods. Unlike other insects they have 8 legs. There are more than 46,000 known species of spiders, found all over the world. Their size varies from 0.11 inch to 12 inches. Most of the spiders don’t see very well even though they have 8 eyes. Jumping spider is an exception, which can see more colours than humans. All spiders are predators which feed mainly on insects. They typically have a well-developed sense of touch. Few spiders are active hunters that chase and kill their prey. Other spiders weave webs or silk snare to capture their prey. Webs are instinctively constructed and effectively trap flying insects. Many spiders inject their venom(poison) into their prey to kill it quickly, whereas others first use silk wrappings or web to immobilize their victims. Spiders have venom but only a handful like the Black widow and the Brown recluse are dangerous to humans. Majority of spiders are harmless and help in controlling insect population that could otherwise devastate crops. Without spiders to eat pests harmful to agriculture, it’s thought that our food supply would be put at risk.

 

The Alchemist: Communion

~Sharat & Vasanth

Santiago is a young adventurous Andalusian Shepherd. He dreams of treasure frequently. With the advice of a gypsy woman, he decides to search for the treasure in Egypt. Initially, Santiago gets robbed and loses hope on his quest to find the treasure. But he makes up his mind and works hard to earn so that he can use that money to find his priceless treasure. When Santiago arrives in the desert, he realises that there is a common language spoken by all humans, animals, and objects. He talks to the sun and wind by listening to the things around and within himself – Universal Language. This language symbolises “The Soul of The World.” The novel’s portrayal of a universal language and The Soul of The World demonstrates its theme of communion.

Throughout the journey, Santiago feels every single thing on the way – people, places, and objects. The alchemist challenges Santiago to find a living thing in the desert, which puzzles Santiago in the beginning. Santiago realises that there is no need for advanced skills to do this. He feels grounded and connects with all things. His horse leads to a place where a snake lives. In this way, he realises that his quest has become a mutual task since the horse leads to the rocks on its own accord.

The alchemist does not fit into the mainframe of the story. He does not even actually teach Santiago how metals are processed and transformed into gold. Instead, he teaches Santiago to observe everything and bring essence to it. Santiago realises that every single thing around is not something to be ignored. Initially, Santiago didn’t feel connected to the world but later on when he visited the desert; he realised that every single thing on the planet is gold and he also thinks that one can see its purity only by feeling it. Santiago learns that studying the world will teach him everything one needs to know. He emphasises the fact that the world is a great teacher, and we can learn things by observing and feeling things. The novel portrays how your willpower unites the universal forces around you to help reach your destiny.

INTEGRATED LEARNING -EVS FOR LOWER GRADE STUDENTS

~Sunil & Praveen

In the EVS session, we learned how to integrate science with Mathematics, Arts, and Literature for lower grade students. This type of teaching would enable students to engage both their left and right brain which indeed will make them engage with the subject more practically and store information in their long-term memory. We discussed and learned about mammals. In which we discussed dog family.

The science

Dog

Kingdom Animalia
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Canidae

 

Characteristic of Canidae family:

  •       Canids are basically vertebrates, warm-blooded, mammals, and carnivores
  •       They have 2 forelegs, 2 hind legs, and bushy tail
  •       5 toes on forefoot 5 toes on hind-foot
  •       They have elongated skull
  •       They have a great sense of smelling and hearing

Animals under Canidae family:

  •       Dogs
  •       Wolf
  •       Coyote
  •       African Wild Dog
  •       Fox
  •       Jackals

Mathematics and Literature

We sang a numerical poem about dogs that had increase and decrease in numbers as we proceed to the next stanza. With this, we could integrate language and mathematics by teaching students English poems along with ascending order and descending order.  

 Art

Making Paper dog

This creative method of integrated learning makes teaching and learning fun and effective. We could also integrate Social science and History with this  by telling students about the evolution of dogs.

 

Puppet Frog

~Sharat Kumar

In EVS session, we learned about amphibians and their characteristic features. We discussed what the unique features of amphibians are. We learned to model a Puppet frog to engage children with the lessons by storytelling and to explain the characteristic features of amphibians.

Amphibians are small organisms which come under vertebrates (animal with a spinal cord surrounded by cartilage or bone) that need water, or a moist environment, to survive. The species in this group include frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts. All can breathe and absorb water through their fragile and moist skin. Amphibians also have specialized skin glands that produce useful proteins.

We shall now see the equipment’s and steps required to make Puppet Frog.

Materials Required:

  1. Color Paper
  2. Compass
  3. Pencil
  4. Glue

Step 1:

Take two color papers and draw a circle using compass. Cut the remaining part

Step 2:

Make a hole in one circular sheet and cut it into half.

Step 3:

Make 4 legs, eyes and tongue with the remaining paper.

Step 4:

Apply glue to the edge of the circle and stick the semi-circle as shown below.

Step 5:

Stick the 4 legs and eyes as shown below using glue.

Step 6:

Now stick the tongue of the frog using glue as shown

Step 7:

Allow the glue to dry and the puppet is ready.